The Cost of Using Obsolete and Outdated Technology
At a recent visit to a government service centre I was given a receipt printed on an old (noisy) dot-matrix printer. Many medical offices and government departments still communicate using fax machines. Some large organizations continue to operate computers running Windows XP. We continue to receive payments in the form of a paper cheque, and occasionally I’ll visit websites that are not mobile-responsive.
Some of these experiences may be nostalgic, and may still “get the job done”. However, they lead me to wonder why such organizations continue to use such old practices and equipment, and whether they have carefully considered the costs and risks associated with failing to adopt newer technology.
Costs and Risks of Using Outdated Technology
Several factors should be considered when making the decision on upgrading technology:
- Organizations take advantage of technology to increase productivity and to remain competitive. A failure to leverage technology can impact productivity and reduce profitability.
- Employee recruitment, engagement and retention. Employees are attracted to organizations that use current technology. They should be equipped with tools that enable them to work efficiently, stay connected and to work remotely when desired.
- Out-of-date application software and operating systems pose a security risk. Out-of-date software is more susceptible to cyber attacks and data security breaches.
- Environmental impact. Older technology is typically less energy efficient and consumes more resources, resulting in a larger carbon footprint.
- Customer Service and Reputation. Organizations are judged based on their user/customer experience, and their ability to communicate easily and efficiently with customers. An awkward-to-use mobile app, or employees using out-of-date devices and applications, can negatively impact a firm’s reputation.
Updating hardware and software requires an ongoing investment of time and money. What is state-of-the-art today may be obsolete tomorrow. However, the benefits to an organization of keeping up with technology outweigh the costs and risks of using outdated systems.
If you would like to find out more about opportunities to take advantage of new technology in your office, or you need help improving operating efficiency, reducing costs and strengthening your organization, please contact me at 613-727-1230 ext. 212 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Richard MacNeill, FCPA, FCMA, CMC, Dipl. T. is a partner at OTUS Group, a team of advisors to business, government and not-for-profit organizations.